Weight Loss Support - Are you low carb OR grain & sugar free and still NOT at goal?




GlamourGirl827
01-18-2014, 08:35 AM
I have given up sugar before and I always find it easier to stay binge free without it. So I detoxed from sugar yay! starting the day after Christmas. Then about a week ago I gave up all grains. I have some health issues I'm not going to get into now, but y endocrinologist was very supportive, and felt this was a good approach for my weight loss and to address other issues.

I eat about one serving of fruit a day (never more, sometimes 0 servings though). I still eat starchy veggies about 3x per week (this is how I was eating the past few weeks before going grain free). I'm only eating whole foods, nothing processed.

My weight was stalled until I went grain free, now its coming of quickly. My endocrinologist stated the same. He said to stay with this diet and I will definitely see the scale move.

So I wonder, is anyone grain free & sugar free whole foods or low carb (similar diet) and still not at goal? Do you know why? Is it still calories in the end?


IdealProteinNewbie
01-18-2014, 09:28 AM
Can you list what you eat in a typical day?

GlamourGirl827
01-18-2014, 10:59 AM
Can you list what you eat in a typical day?

I could, but I'm just asking about others reaching goal. I only gave a rough idea of my diet so that I could hear from those that have a similar one...I don't want someone telling me they eat "clean" and grain free" and can't reach goal only to find out they are eating like 10 servings of fruit and/or starchy veggies a day..KWIM?
I'm curious if others eating grain free still have difficulty as they near goal. I've reached goal already, before my last baby. I was eating clean but still eating grains. When I reached that goal (see siggy) I realized I could stand to lose some more, henceforth the new goal. (see siggy again) Are you grain & sugar free?


kaplods
01-18-2014, 11:14 AM
Several years ago I stalled on low-carb (at around 350 lbs) while eating no grains, no added sugar, no starchy veggies and very little fruit - maybe 60g of carbs total per day.

My calorie level though was VERY high. I had started swimming regularly and I was CONSTANTLY hungry.

Calories still matter on low and carb conscious diets, but you may or may not have count them.

On a grain-free diet starchy veggies and fruit are my downfall. Both tend to increase my appetite overall, and I can easily overeat fruit (rationalizing in my head that they are "healthy") even to the point of painful cramping and worse.

I've been around enough low-carb forums to know that my experience isn't extremely rare, but it also isn't common. Most people are able to lose weight and get much closer to their goal (certainly closer than 350 lbs) without having to be as carb/calorie/quantity conscious.

Even for myself, if it weren't for my insane appetite during TOM week, I don't think I would have stalled, because I would regain during TOM everything I'd lost the rest of the month, and I'd do it by eating much larger quantities of fattier red meat during TOM (hubby and I began referring to it as "meat week").

Only trial and error can tell you tell you whether you can ride your WOE (way of eating) all the way to goal.



BTW, my current struggles have more to do with staying on plan than stalling on plan. I can lose weight 3 weeks out of four, but during TOM "meat week," I end up gorging on both on- and off- plan foods. I've always had difficulty with hormonal hunger, which has been helped by oral contraceptives. However as I get closer to menopause, even on bc, the issue has gotten more and more difficult to manage. My TOM hunger hasn't been this bad since puberty (when I put on 100 lbs over the course of a couple years).

I guess on that level, even just "not regaining" has been an accomplishment.

diamondgeog
01-18-2014, 11:46 AM
I am just about to reach 220 from 285 last May. Eliminating bread and pasta, lowering carbs is the best thing I have ever done. I have plateaued a couple of times but it has been steady down. And I feel amazing. I am also running now.

At a basic level it is still energy out more than energy in. But I don't believe it is ever just about calories. Before cutting out grains, especially wheat I was hungry all the time. Now I eat fewer calories but I am more full. So how my body uses calories and 'feels' about calories is not the same.

I personally have continued to get less and less hungry. Sugar detox was best thing ever. I haven't reached goal which ultimately is around 180 because of time. Also I do still eat out a lot. I have more good days than bad though and 65 lbs in 9 or so months is fantastic by me. Lowering carbs for me is best thing I ever did.

Mad Donnelly
01-18-2014, 12:51 PM
Sounds like you have a great endocrinologist. I had sworn off sugar and grains because of weight but now am convinced of the bad effects on the body and its influence not only on weight gain but a myriad of other things.

I do kind of think it IS ultimately the calories for weight loss, energy out and in as diamongeog said. But it's also a matter of what works as a permanent solution and what works as far as the effects of sugar and grain. I keep saying grain because, for some reason, people fixate on the word "carb". I eat very little fruit but that's so whether I'm eating low carb or not and very little starchy veggies (sweet potatoes every once in a while). I'm eating way more green veggies, I have never demonized protein or **horrors** red meat, drinking way more water than generally recommended.

So what if I'm not eating bread? No one is really eating healthy whole wheat bread anyway I'm convinced. Unless prepared correctly, the phytic acid in grains binds to prevent the absorption of the nutrients you think you're getting.

I used to use all this as an excuse to eat crap but no more. I'm not eating as clean as I can, but as clean as I can manage and much better than "normal". It's much better than being hungry and feeling deprived. Maybe some people can manage that but I can't. I need to eat what keeps me sated and that means meat protein first for me.

Arctic Mama
01-18-2014, 01:10 PM
Me, if you want to get technical, because I lowered my goal. I made my original goal of 160-163 after a few years, but the twenty pounds below that are proving very challenging. Some of it is mental, though, as weight loss bugs me and I hate it and prefer maintenance, but that is because it takes a lot of strictness to see any scale movement at all these days.

I just got diagnosed hypothyroid and have suspected PCOS, which could be contributing to the snail's pace at which I lose. But I've been grain and sugar free for several years and it helps immensely but is no magic bullet. I have to watch my calories too, because I'm so weight reduced that my metabolism and energy needs are notably down regulated from the baseline I began at, or even what is normal for my height and weight for a never-obese person.

Nutrient compositions matters hugely in my ability to maintain and loss, but overall energy intake is a part of the equation, too. I can eat much more food on low carb and still maintain, for example, whereas calorie counting with things like oatmeal and fruit was always a razor's edge of cravings/hunger/scale bouncing. Higher fat, lower carb eating, if nothing else, makes me much more resistant to weight gain. But losing still requires fastidiousness and restriction.

diamondgeog
01-18-2014, 02:50 PM
Another thing about stalling that is independent of any diet plan per se is exercise. This is vitally important to me. I have to realize our bodies are amazing machines. They get better at doing something, more efficient. So you need to change exercise up from time to time.

JohnP
01-18-2014, 03:04 PM
Another thing about stalling that is independent of any diet plan per se is exercise. This is vitally important to me. I have to realize our bodies are amazing machines. They get better at doing something, more efficient. So you need to change exercise up from time to time.

This is misleading. Sure, you'll burn fewer calories over time as your body adapts to an exercise but not a whole lot less and while exercise is great for your health it doesn't burn that many calories to begin with.

My point quite simply is that if one has "stalled" it doesn't mean you need to change your exercise program. Weight loss is not linear, muscle confusion is a only marketing slogan.

IanG
01-18-2014, 09:24 PM
I'm low carb and it was plain sailing until I got down to 170. Now all the protein I eat and the weight training and running I do is adding muscle which messes with the scale badly. I hit a low of 163lbs a month or so ago. Now I am sitting pretty at 172lbs. But with bigger arms and legs.

Riddy
01-19-2014, 10:30 AM
Yes! I rarely eat grains or starchy veggies, and I average 1 serving of fruit a day (2 servings 2-3 times a week). I stalled from July 2012 to November 2013. I built some muscle in that time working with a trainer. The scale didn't start moving again until I started cutting out some of my planned snacks. I'm also hypothyroid, and generally a slow loser. Even when I was on Medifast I lost 1-2 pounds a week, where they say people lose 2-5 pounds a week.

So while I feel better limiting starch and sugar, it's not a fast track to weight loss for me. I'm coming up on 3 years of focused work and still striving towards goal.

yoyoma
01-19-2014, 12:32 PM
I know that eliminating grains and processed sugar are not enough for me to lose weight, but eating them only makes matters worse for me.

The upshot is that you have to try it and see if that alone works for you all the way to your goal and into maintenance. If not, you might need to find additional ways to help get things moving in the right direction. But keeping excess starchy carbs (grains and other sources) and processed sugar at a minimum will likely help.

GlamourGirl827
01-20-2014, 11:05 AM
Thank you everyone. I want to give an indivdual response to everyone, but I've been waiting for the moment to do that since yesterday and it doesnt seem thats going to happen ( i'm typing w 1 hand holding baby in the other!) somi at least want to reply that the responses were very helpful. i am calorie counting loosely. I aim for about 350-450 cals for breakfast, same for lunch and dinner, though I only tract B & L, D is healthy whole foods, and i use portion control. I figure when the scale slows I will cut back on B&L a little. yes i have noticed that my cravings have decreased sooo much and i am full longer, and dont need to snack betweenn meals. its easier to eat less and still feel satisfied.

fadedbluejeans
01-20-2014, 11:36 AM
I am a slow loser, but I definitely feel less hungry and fewer cravings with less added sugar and processed grains. I still eat some, but I feel better overall with gluten free grains like brown rice or quinoa. Mostly because I noticed a weird correlation between joint pain and wheat consumption. Most of my carbs are from veggies, less fruit. My ultimate goal is better health which includes weight loss, but I'm not usually in a hurry about it...slow and steady downward is ok with me, as long as I know I am eating as well as I can and moving a bit more everyday.

GlamourGirl827
01-20-2014, 01:06 PM
I just wanted to add that I have been having cravings today, including carbs and just the generic urge to over eat...I coudnt figure out why, but I wanted something "comfort" like for breakfast, pancakes carbs, but I didnt eat any thing like that, stuck to plan...we had chili last night that I made. and I've had beans and been ok...then I decided to check the packet of spices I added, it Mccormick chili spice thing, ...and it has both wheat something and sugar...i dont know if thats really enough to cause cravings..but its kind of interesting.

diamondgeog
01-20-2014, 03:06 PM
It's remarkable how many times I am hungry now because I haven't drank enough water. I have a system at work. But weekends sometimes I forget and I feel hungry. 9 out of 10 times I hadn't had enough.

I drink some and the hunger usually goes away.

gymrat05
01-20-2014, 06:14 PM
I did a strict paleo diet a few years ago with about a serving a fruit a day and a moderate amount of starchy veggies. Same idea, all whole foods, I lost about 4 lbs in the first few weeks and then stalled and then started gaining again. I counted calories at the same time to see if I was intaking too much but I definitely wasn't and started driving myself crazy. For some reason I just didn't do well this way.

Madriver
03-25-2014, 11:52 AM
Going grain/sugar free doesn't lead to weight loss for me unless I actively restrict intake at the same time. For me, it's all about the calories and going grain free/sugar free won't automatically lead to a deficit.

I think it's because I don't have a sweet tooth, I've got a umami tooth. So, give me a well-seasoned piece of chicken or steak, or cheese, and I can easily over consume. Easily.

You know how some people can't stop at a serving of ice cream or candy? Well, that's me with protein. I have to be very careful or I am at the refrigerator jamming in multiple pieces of grilled chicken breast, followed by multiple pieces of string cheese, feeling so hungry and unable to satiate it.

Sometimes I feel like the only person in the world who gains weight on low-carb diets. For me, I do best with a healthy moderate diet in which all food groups are represented.

kelijpa
03-25-2014, 01:13 PM
Very interesting thread, I enjoyed reading it.

Certain foods definitely cause increase cravings for me, finding which foods do that for you is important, even if it a mental trigger, like if I eat something I consider a treat when I'm on plan that can sometimes make my mind think "hey, we're off plan let's get some chips..." Not really a physical craving, or maybe a physical craving brought on by an emotional craving.

Anyway, I constantly tweak and adjust my plan on my journey to goal, eating and exercise, personally, I don't think there is one plan that will get me to where I want to be and keep me there, except the kelijpa plan... I do a fair amount of exercise because it makes me feel good but don't want to get obsessive about it. If it takes too long I end up skipping it, so I'm careful about that now.

As far as your chili seasoning having wheat and sugar, I find it very annoying the things that have added sugar, like dry roasted peanuts, I have noticed one store brand is the only one in my area that doesn't add sugar, I like to use them to make my peanut butter sometimes, Planters and others all have added sugar.

We really have to read labels anymore, not just for nutritional information, but the ingredients. Best of luck to you, wishing you continued success

I thought it was interesting that my spellcheck changed nutritional to mutational...:sunny:

Radiojane
03-25-2014, 02:53 PM
I have such a ******ed amount to go to goal, I don't count, but I can tell you that every time I start eating anything other than vegetables and fruits and meat, I stop dead on the scale. Even if the calories are comparable or less.

I however have abused my system so badly for the past decade I've most likely screwed up my pancreas for life. Not to say that I don't watch my calories or my other macros, I do. But I need to keep the sugar intake really, really low.

Locke
03-25-2014, 03:49 PM
I eat junk food. Lots of junk food. Chips, candy, soda, cookies, ice cream, etc. I also eat some healthy meals. I eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full. Yes, sometimes I am not hungry and my mouth wants something to munch on (usually sugar). It's not a strong urge and it passes. I've been eating this way for a few weeks and I've never felt happier or saner- plus I've been losing about five pounds per week. There are a lot of people here who think you have to "eat clean" (which is ultimately a meaningless statement) to lose weight and that some foods have the power to make you fat. I just thought I'd toss myself in as an example of how that's not necessarily the case.

Radiojane
03-25-2014, 04:25 PM
While I totally agree that you can eat just about anything and lose weight, I take issue with "eating clean" being a meaningless statement (although it's often misconstrued).

From a strict weight loss and nothing else perspective, CICO works really well. I think however if you're looking for better health some attention needs to be paid to the quality of what you're eating. I think that's where a lot of the divide and some of the more heated arguments come from on this site and others. Most of us will agree that weight loss is a highly personal thing and numerous things work (I myself borrow strategies from everything from calorie counting to atkins, to even IP). Health is a different marker - and everyone's standards for that are different, but I'm satisfied with the research out there that proves that too much processed food and a reliance on grains for carbohydrates instead of vegetables and fruits will do some damage in the long run.

No individual food has the power to make you fat, but your health is a very different matter.

Locke, I'm glad you've found a way to eat that makes you happy and that you're losing. Being able to eat intuitively and stop when you're full is such a huge battle, one that I only very recently won. For me it had to be extremely low carb.

freelancemomma
03-25-2014, 04:27 PM
There are a lot of people here who think you have to "eat clean" (which is ultimately a meaningless statement) to lose weight and that some foods have the power to make you fat. I just thought I'd toss myself in as an example of how that's not necessarily the case.

Great to hear your perspective, Locke. My experience parallels yours. I can eat whatever I want and lose weight as long as I'm at a calorie deficit. I also don't experience any noticeable difference in satiety whether I eat carbs, fats or protein. I also find that a day without grains leaves me singularly dissatisfied.

F.

Radiojane
03-25-2014, 04:30 PM
Just out of curiosity: Was your eating fairly balanced and healthy prior to weight loss? Was it simply a matter of cutting calories or did you find that you had to significantly alter any other habits?

I just wonder if people have more success with moderation if there was more balance in their prior habits. (Mine weren't balanced at all).

Locke
03-25-2014, 04:42 PM
While I totally agree that you can eat just about anything and lose weight, I take issue with "eating clean" being a meaningless statement (although it's often misconstrued).

By meaningless I am stating that there is no fixed meaning. For some people "clean eating" is a low carb whole foods diet without starchy vegetables. To others this means a diet of all raw fruits and vegetables. There is no fixed meaning for the term; it varies by the individual. That's one reason why I don't like that term. Another is that it dichotomizes food- it divides foods into two groups- clean and unclean. I am a person who has issues with self esteem and eating- how do you think it makes me feel when I eat an "unclean" or "dirty" food? Not good. That's what I'm trying to get away from.

I am a religious studies graduate student- human beings have a long history of dividing foods into categories of clean and unclean. To imbue some foods with the property of cleanliness (and the attendant moral superiority) and others with the opposite is a modern secular form of superstition that I choose not to participate in. I understand how this can be useful when you are trying to eat healthier but I choose to take a more nuanced approach to human nutrition.

Madriver
03-25-2014, 04:43 PM
Great to hear your perspective, Locke. My experience parallels yours. I can eat whatever I want and lose weight as long as I'm at a calorie deficit. I also don't experience any noticeable difference in satiety whether I eat carbs, fats or protein. I also find that a day without grains leaves me singularly dissatisfied.

F.

This entire post is my experience as well. Especially the bolded.

Radiojane
03-25-2014, 05:17 PM
Interesting. I have major issues with both self esteem and food, and it never occurred to me to make that connection. I don't see it as "dirty" in a shaming connotation, I suppose. I just see it as another word for healthy or not polluting the body. Keep in mind a lot of religious food restrictions had a lot to do with health concerns due to spoilage, disease and storage at the time (pork is a good example).

I guess what I'm saying is I see your point - but for me, I feel like more damage was done when I believed that all food was "okay". This is not to say that I don't indulge, but my issues with food and self esteem have improved immensely now that I've segregated my food, so to speak. I can have the knowledge that cheesecake is not doing me any favors, and armed with that knowledge indulge occasionally without shame or concern. Before I would have ate it every day for a week, and even though I was hitting some moderation or caloric target, I would have gained, felt low, etc and the shame would come from me believing I was doomed to be fat.

It's really fascinating how all the facets come together for different people.

alaskanlaughter
03-25-2014, 05:45 PM
I find that I have less cravings or "head hunger" when I do lower carb/sugar....If I hit below 150 carbs per day I can achieve that, so I'm not going super low...Back when I was really into LC and ketosis, several years back now, I lost the most weight that way BUT i felt exhausted, dizzy and just weird throughout my body and gradually fell into a higher carb way of eating again....I can control my weight through calorie counting and hard exercise BUT I tend to actually lose if I focus on both calories AND carbs....Some days I have the willpower to do that and some days it's just mentally exhausting...

My weight has stalled out for a very long time...I guess you could call it maintaining...because I haven't figured out a way to win that battle of willpower and impulsively eating...

freelancemomma
03-25-2014, 05:58 PM
Just out of curiosity: Was your eating fairly balanced and healthy prior to weight loss? Was it simply a matter of cutting calories or did you find that you had to significantly alter any other habits?

I just wonder if people have more success with moderation if there was more balance in their prior habits. (Mine weren't balanced at all).

Not sure if the question was directed at me, but I'll answer anyway. Left to my own devices I'm anything but balanced. I used to have (and occasionally still have) epic binges -- I'm talking 3,000+ calories of pure carbs/fat in one sitting. I have an enormous capacity to overeat.

Even so, I saw no reason to eliminate any foods when losing weight. I'd always lost weight successfully on a 1,500-calorie diet, so this time around I did the same thing. The only difference, and probably the reason I've been able to maintain my weight loss for the first time ever, is that I committed to exercising 4 times per week.

F.

diamondgeog
03-26-2014, 12:21 PM
Great to hear your perspective, Locke. My experience parallels yours. I can eat whatever I want and lose weight as long as I'm at a calorie deficit. I also don't experience any noticeable difference in satiety whether I eat carbs, fats or protein. I also find that a day without grains leaves me singularly dissatisfied.

F.

I think there is a vitally important aspect to this that needs to be pointed out. Believe it or not I am NOW more or less this way as well. Not with grains, but with the filling full part. But I am all about the low carb, whole foods, no grains, carbs from non-starchy veggies. What gives?

Well when I was high carb low fat all the time lots of junk foods, potatoes, bread, pasta my metabolism was fundamentally different. I had insulin in my system I am sure 24 hours a day. I could have a fast food meal or huge meal at a Mexican restaurant and I would be ravenously hungry a couple of hours later. My hunger was a nightmare.

By changing my way of eating I changed my metabolism and my biology at the cellular level. I am now 'fat adapted'. I.e. my body uses my fat for fuel. It tends to burn calories now not store them. My inuslin is at much lower levels.

So when I occasionally have a huge Mexican meal. Same exact meal as before. It fills me up for 6,7,8 hours or more. My body is operating well now instead of poorly.

So if you are very overweight like I was and have impaired your metabolism and the functioning of your body, you may have to 'eat clean' to get it working correctly again. Some people may never ever reset and achieve their goals unless they do 'clean eat' for sometime.

I can have five fries now and be fine. Carbs have lost their power over me. But I am sure if I went back to my old ways for a length of time, they would regain their power as my body started operating poorly again.

For others this may not be necessary to eat clean. But I love the food on 'eating clean' and the results have been awesome for me. And while I can eat carbs..if I eat grains now I feel awful and my back pain comes back if it is corn.

Freelance you put your high weight at 195 at 5'11". I am 5'9" (and a half :-)). I was at 340 at one point. I compromised my body way more than you ever did. So I am coming from a very obese person perspective. My body was so messed up that if I did not do low carb high fat I never would have gotten back to health, for me.

I am not asking you to get to 300 or so to try this, of course. But if you did, you might find that carbs have a very different relationship to you and do make you ravenously hungry.

And you may not be as sensitive to insulin as I am. But telling me with insulin sensitivity in my family to not focus on carbs...would have been to sentence me to no health for the rest of my life. But sensitivity varies.

As an added aside Freelance. Just as I have turned my body into being less sensitive to carbs, it can go the other way. This is what happens to unfortunately way too many people. Goodness forbid, but if you ever did get to a certain weight, you might find that you've made yourself more sensitive to carbs as you would probably be producing more insulin throughout the day. Let us hope you and everyone else who doesn't have that now, never finds out.